Autumn 2011

Everyone Everywhere 2011 energizes for mission

Anglicans from around the globe gathered in the mountains of Colorado in October to talk about the mission of the church. More than a few nodded in agreement when Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori observed that, “There are times when that work can feel as hopeless as trying to collect all the sand and rock at the base of these mountains, and put it back up there on the mountain.”

“Yet,” she added, “we’re here because we believe God works even through erosion and what looks like the destruction of creation.  It is the destruction of human communities and ecological systems that has brought us here, hoping to find ways of healing. Sometimes the great mountains around us need to be eroded, like the great dividing walls Paul acknowledges exist between us."

The Rocky Mountains formed a magnificent backdrop for the Everyone Everywhere 2011 conference, a four-day conference in Estes Park, Colo., that brought together ministries from across the church to learn more about – and be energized for – the ongoing work of mission.

Representatives from a number of Jubilee Ministries were present, some as presenters and some as participants. They were joined by our ministry partners, including representatives from the Episcopal Network of Economic Justice, the Episcopal Service Corps, the Episcopal Public Policy Network, Latino/Hispanic Ministries, Indigenous Ministries, Black Ministries and Episcopal Relief and Development, to name but a few.

This edition of Jubilate is centered around Everyone Everywhere 2011, including highlights of some Jubilee-related presentations and observations from participants.

For those who were unable to attend Everyone Everywhere 2011, many of the workshops and all of the plenary sessions were webcast live. Those sessions may be viewed on demand here.

A message from Chris Johnson: Reflecting on the nature of Jubilee Ministry and our call to serve

For the past two years the conversation around poverty alleviation has focused on the introduction of asset-based community development as a foundational basis for ministry.

While the introduction of this language to help frame our work is relatively new, the actual practice finds its roots in our 1982 organizing mandate – “a joint discipleship in Christ with poor and oppressed people where ever they are found, to meet basic human need and to build a just society.”


At its very core Jubilee Ministry is relational ministry.


Read on for a holiday-related exercise to help you reflect on the nature of just what your Jubilee Ministry is and is called to be.



New Sanctuary Movement: An inter-cultural Washington congregation that celebrates its diversity moves beyond charity into justice

Throughout the year at St. Matthew/San Mateo, a Jubilee Ministry in Auburn, Wash., we engage in diverse liturgical traditions drawn from the experiences of the members of this unique congregation. One of these is participating in First Nations four directions prayers.

Part of this ceremony is praying for the groups of people that live to the North, the South, the East and the West.  St. Matthew/San Mateo includes in its membership people that truly come from the four directions and whose relatives still live in all parts of the globe.  We are the most diverse congregation in the Diocese of Olympia. We are inter-cultural, meaning that we are more than separate cultural groups sharing the same space, we are truly one.  Our Bishop’s Committee includes four immigrants (three from Mexico and one from the Fiji Islands), First Nations people and people of European ancestry.

Sunday is the entry point for our ministry, which incorporates the following week of activities in our parish hall building and Jubilee Center.  The 9 a.m. service is simple, traditional and in English.  Our principal Sunday service is at 11 a.m., and is many-hued (as is the 9 a.m. service).

Read more... 


Refugee Immigration Ministry: Building Community with Uprooted People

The Rev. Ruth Bersin, executive director of Refugee Immigration Ministry, a Jubilee Ministry in Boston, was all set to launch into her Power Point presentation, “Building Community with Uprooted People,” one of nearly 50 workshops scheduled over three days at the Everyone Everywhere 2011 conference.

But as the people who had gathered for the workshop introduced themselves, Bersin discovered she needed to change tactics. That’s because a big chunk of her audience were young men from Sudan who had been refugees themselves. Suddenly, Bersin was no longer the expert. They were.

“When I realized the room was full of people who had been through this trauma themselves, I just flew through the Power Point, and then let them share. Lecturing at them wasn’t the way to handle that group,” she said. “We shifted into a dialogue, and it was very productive for me as well as for them.”



Infusion: Engaging Youth in Social Justice Issues

After 25 years as the head of the Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry (CVEM), a Jubilee Ministry in Columbus, Ga., Vicky Partin was searching for a new “wavelength” to challenge the next generation to meet the future.

Her answer was Infusion, a program designed to create that vibration among the high school youth around Columbus. Founded in 2006, its purpose is to recruit, mentor and shape community leaders.

Partin and three members of The Infusion Youth Leadership Program – Abby Brown, Olivia Cohen and Will Hutwagner – led a workshop on “Engaging Youth in Social Justice Issues” at Everyone Everywhere 2011.

Read more... 


Engaging in a new ministry: Ecclesia seeks and serves Christ in all persons

The Rev. Debbie Little, founder of Ecclesia Ministries, a Jubilee Ministry in Boston, likes to quote Edwin Land, founder of the Polaroid Corporation, when talking about the struggle to create a new ministry: “There’s nothing so fragile as a new idea.”

“If it starts with a feeling of misery, that’s fairly classic,” said Little, who created the “Common Cathedral” street church model that has now spread nationwide. “Just try to hang with it.”

Little led a workshop at Everyone Everywhere 2011 for others who may be interested in launching new ministries, but are daunted at the prospects.

“When we create a new ministry, we expand the church’s understanding of itself,” she said.

Read more ...


Mission on the Mountain: Serving Everyone Everywhere

The Rev. Richard Tolliver didn't go to St. Edmund's Episcopal Church at 61st Street and Michigan Avenue in the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago with the intention of building affordable housing.

Yet 20 years later, the St. Edmund's Redevelopment Corporation has developed 562 housing units in 27 buildings, generating more than $65 million in investments in a blighted neighborhood where more than 60 percent of the population lives in poverty, he explained during the Oct. 14 afternoon plenary address at Everyone Everywhere 2011.

Read more ...



Jesus found in mission, not outreach

In late 2007 the Rev. Zach Drennen, at the time working as a teacher and chaplain at a school in Pittsburgh, Pa, decided to take a three-month, self-funded sabbatical.

But rather than hike the Appalachian Trail or climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Drennen, who was ordained an Episcopal priest in 2002, decided to spend some time with long-time missionaries William "Gerry" and Nancy Hardison in Maseno, Kenya, where they run the Maseno Mission Hospital and St. Philip's Theological Seminary.

Read more ... 


Mark your calendar

Episcopal Urban Caucus Assembly

Feb. 29-March 3, Atlanta



Rooted in Worship: A litany for immigrants, refugees and sojourners

The following litany was crafted by Dianne Aid. See the story (above) about her church, St. Matthew/San Mateo in Auburn, Wash., and its entry into the New Sanctuary Movement. 


He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High,*
     abides under the shadow of the Almighty.
He shall say to the Lord, “You are my stronghold,*
     my God in whom I put my trust.”
He shall deliver you from the snare of the hunter*
     and from the deadly pestilence.
He shall cover you with his pinions, and you shall find refuge under his wings;*
     his faithfulness shall be a shield and buckler. (Psalm 91: 1-4)




Jubilee Ministry in the news

"Building relationships helps in the fight to end hunger, poverty," a Sept. 28 Episcopal News Service story that features several Jubilee Ministries. 


"Becca Stephens recognized as White House Champion of Change," an Oct. 18 Episcopal News Service story about the founder of Magdalene/Thistle Farms, a Jubilee Ministry in Nashville. 


"Arkansas' St. Francis House program helps homeless veterans re-enter society," a Nov. 11 Episcopal News Service story.  


Tulsa-area agencies hold event for World Homeless Action Day, an Oct. 11 story in the Tulsa World featuring the work of Iron Gate, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa. 


"Clinics provide free health care," a Sept. 26 story by WAFF on St. John's Episcopal Outreach Center in Decatur, Ala. 


"St. Benedict Health and Healing Ministry finds new home at Sister Carmen," a Sept. 16 story in the Boulder Daily Camera  - and a video - about a Jubilee Ministry in Boulder County. 

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